USA Release date: 6th March 1987
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 21st April 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This is one of those titles that come up from time to time, either in conversations or it gets a mention in someone’s top ten or something similar. Either way, it’s always intrigued me. I hadn’t gone out of my way to find out too much about it before viewing so I could appreciate it for what it is and not what someone else may think about it. I have to say, although not perfect, it’s pretty damn good! Here’s a very brief summary before I tell you just why.
It’s 1955 and when private detective Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke) is contacted by a lawyer on behalf of a mysterious client, he’s intrigued enough to meet this party. The client, Cyphre (Robert De Niro) wants Angel to find the whereabouts of a former crooner, Johnny Favourite, who had entered a contract with Cyphre. He had been injured in the war and was supposed to be staying in a hospital in up-state New York. Checking his file, Angel discovers that Favourite is listed as ‘transferred’, but that doesn’t ring true. He finds his doctor and gets a story about him being picked up and taken back to New Orleans. The action switches South where Angel follows clues that lead him to a young woman; Epiphany Proudfoot (Lisa Bonet) and a fortune teller; Margaret Krusemark (Charlotte Rampling). Both have information about Johnny, but neither can tell Angel where he is. A series of murders though do point the way and when Angel discovers the truth about Johnny it may even be too late for him.
This is a beautifully put together film with some great imagery and a slight fixation for fans (don’t worry, this is explained in the narrative). The performances were all excellent with Mickey Rourke easily standing out; he always makes his characters believable and that was most important in this case. Of the others, De Niro was good in the places we saw him although he doesn’t have a major part to play; I thought Lisa Bonet did a very reasonable job also. It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it certainly has something; and enough something to gain my recommendation.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 7.8/10.
IMDb Score: 7.3/10 (based on 42,341 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: No Data: (Based on 0 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 62/100 (based on 28,704 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
Cyphre: Are you an atheist?
Harry Angel: Yeah, I'm from Brooklyn.
Harry Angel: I gotta thing about chickens.
Cyphre: No matter how cleverly you sneak up on a mirror, your reflection always looks you straight in the eye.
Harry Angel: What's your name?
Epiphany Proudfoot: Epiphany Proudfoot.
Harry Angel: Your mother left you a very beautiful name, Epiphany.
Epiphany Proudfoot: Not much else.
Harry Angel: [to Izzy as he is lounging on a deserted beach at Coney Island, in what must be early Autumn] Listen. What do you do around here in the summertime?
Izzy: I bite the heads off rats.
Harry Angel: What do you do in the winter?
Izzy: The same.
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://www.williamhjortsberg.com/angelheart.html